Tag Archives: Iowa

Critter Cam | February

The trail camera was out for a couple of days between rain and snow events. There always seems to be plenty of traffic. The camera was set to take 3 images when it detected motion. One or two of the three were sometimes good for sharing here. Some critters move fast and are just a blur. Click on galleries for larger versions.

Raccoons are always making the rounds.

Deer are plentiful all over town and on this path.

Grey squirrels are everywhere.

Possums are plentiful. One image is enough.

Cardinals are a favorite with their red coats and black trim.


Critter Cam in Winter

Our trail camera was out for the past week behind our house. Because of rain and snow, I covered it with a clear plastic bag to keep it dry. The images are a bit out of focus. Lots of squirrel activity. A few possums and raccoons. Several deer passed by. One of them got in very close. A fox trotted by the camera. In 20 years, it is only the 2nd time I’ve ever seen one back there. I’ve never seen that black dog before. Dogs are supposed to be on leash. Lastly, one of the local black squirrels posed for a shot. Still no bobcats or cougars. Click for bigger images.

Critter Cam 2.0

Previous pictures by critter cam were all stills. For the recent 3 days, I set the camera to record video. Movement of any kind triggers it to record 10 sec, then wait 30 sec in case something is still there moving around. In all, 53 videos were recorded. Many were of falling leaves or wiggling branches due to the very windy weather conditions lately. Those that remained with animals in the scene were combined with software. Dead time was removed. The video is about 2 minutes long. Cats and possums are again the stars of the show. At the end, I had to chase off some guy who was going to mess with the critter cam. I’m ready for him if he comes back.

Critter Cam

There is a wooded acreage directly behind our house. Deer have made a path over time that conveniently connects our house to a city trail system about 50 yards away. There is daily traffic of various animals along it.

A month ago our next door neighbor said he was certain he saw a bobcat in his back yard not far from the deer path. It is a real possibility. I know some locals who have seen them in other parts of the county. I bought an inexpensive trail camera in hopes of seeing it. After hundreds of images in both day and night time, I have yet to see a bobcat. Lots of house cats, though.

There are plenty of grey squirrels.

There is a very chubby ground hog who waddles by once in a while. That short tree stump is 1 foot tall.

Deer will become more numerous during the winter months as they forage around bird feeders in the neighborhood.

There are many possum, raccoons, birds, and a few chipmunks and mice.

The hunt continues.

New Fawn

I stepped out onto the front porch and was startled when this thing bleated at me not more than 2 feet away lying next to the lavender flowers. It looked at me seeming to wonder ‘Are you my mother?” Momma deer was nowhere to be seen. It might have sniffed my hand if I’d offered. But, I didn’t want to startle it. Deposits of new fawn near our house have happened several times over the years.

American White Pelican

It is springtime in the midwest. Great flocks of American White Pelicans Pelecanus erythrorhynchosare fly north toward breeding grounds. We are fortunate in Iowa to have many of them visit our lakes and rivers. Dozens of the great birds were on the Iowa River in downtown Iowa City today giving residents close views. These birds are the biggest in the state at up to 20 lbs and with 9 ft wingspans. The loud roar heard in the videos is from water spilling over the nearby dam.

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Crows vs Bald Eagle

Lots of commotion from the Crows this morning. Several of the them were scolding an immature Bald Eagle in the tree right behind our house. It is a BIG bird. It didn’t seem bothered. We have a lot of Bald Eagles around here. They congregate on the Iowa River below the dams to grab fish. It flew away and all was quiet again.

Fall Colors 2021

F.W. Kent Park is a great place to visit. On any day, it offers a variety of nature’s wonders. Today, was bright and sunny. The naturalists were demonstrating bird banding. Lots of families brought small children. The kids enjoyed watching as a Downy Woodpecker was banded.

We then set out for a hike along a few trails. The wildflowers were gorgeous. Enjoy. Click any pictures for larger views.

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Derecho Cleanup Continues

It has been two months since the derecho roared through Iowa. Before the Aug 10 derecho, we enjoyed a nice wooded area behind our house. The shade and filtered light was calming and peaceful. The windstorm change all that in 45 minutes with winds over 100 mph.

After derecho #1

After derecho #2

After many hours of hand sawing and dragging fallen limbs to the curb, much of the ground was visible again. The city took those branches away. We were still left with 5 trees that had not fallen all the way to the ground. It was not safe to be near them. We hired a man with a chainsaw to come help us finish dropping those trees. He cut up the branches and trunks into sizes we could handle.

Today, I recorded this short video as I walked through the same wooded area pictured above. It is discouraging. But, we are making progress. Things will grow back. We can plant new trees.

The insurance company did come through to help with house damages. They did an EFT into our account which nearly pays for the entire roof and gutter replacements. Now we wait our turn for the jobs to be done. We are hopeful the roof will be replaced before winter. The gutter company said it will be spring.

Many people to our north in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area suffered much more damage than we did. We still have a home to live in. Many of them don’t. Crews are still working hard to clear trees and rebuild homes. We hope the rest of the year is quiet for them.

From Wikipedia:

The August 2020 Midwest derecho delivered a maximum measured wind speed of 126 mph, with damage-estimated speeds as high as 140 mph in the Cedar Rapids area. The storm spawned 17 confirmed tornados across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Ten million acres of crops were damaged or destroyed, accounting for roughly a third of the state of Iowa’s agricultural area. Over a million homes across the Midwest were without basic services such as water and electricity.

Train Ride to Santa Fe and Back

Events during the year of 2019 prevented us from taking any trips. We missed the adventures. In February 2020, we decided it was time to plan a trip in the U.S., somewhere we could get to easily. Santa Fe, New Mexico was our choice. The change of scenery, the potential for sunny weather, local hiking, and lots of museums attracted us. Amtrak could take us from Ft. Madison, IA to Lamy, NM, and it would take less than 24 hours. It seemed like a good plan.

Google Maps Image

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